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Election 2016 Cybersecurity & “Operations Psychological”

Putin & Trump Kiss

Putin & Trump Kiss

The DNC Intrusion, which has been identified as a Russian state sponsored activity by CrowdStrike, has consumed the cybersecurity news cycle for the couple weeks. I wrote Regarding Those Kremlin Trolls on June 4th, ten days before Guccifer 2.0 began releasing the documents from that intrusion.

My interest in Russian “Operations Psychological” began in late 2015, a fact which was memorialized by this post on Robert David Steele‘s Phi Beta Iota blog: Russian Information Operations The Menace of Unreality – How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money

Prior to a friend compelling me to pay attention to Peter Pomeranzev’s special report I had my own practice in this area, which is most clearly memorialized in the Conspiracy Brokers WordPress blog. Domestic politics gifted me with a steady supply of unhinged wingnuts starting in 2010, so I made use of them, until they slowly and painfully learned that using their web browsers to look for me was akin to staring into an open blast furnace.

 

Watching @realDonaldTrump‘s bizarre meltdown over the last forty eight hours, it’s clear that the Republican party is about to become be made willing to address the hate groups that have overrun their party over the last six years.

The U.S. government can produce legislation, allocate funding, and prosecute the worst of it, but there are many things that need doing which would be violations of our 1st Amendment rights to free speech, free association, and free assembly. As a private citizen, taking action in this area is the dirty end of the domestic politics field, a place where I’ve been mired since 2010. The work is entirely legal, but extremely distasteful.

 

Here is some required reading if you want to be able to track what is said here. Concepts found herein will be referenced with little or no explanation, unless I’m expanding on a specific point.

The Menace of Unreality – @peterpomeranzev‘s special report for @Interpreter_Mag

Why We’re Post Fact@peterpomeransez‘s Granta essay

Conspiracy Theories – @CassSunstein‘s seminal work on cognitive infiltration

Recursive Fury – Lewandowsky et. al.’s study of conspiracy theorists’ response to profiling

Know Your Enemies 2.0 – encyclopedia of advanced persistent threats (APTs)

 

Here is some recommended reading, things that have shaped my thinking over the years.

Understanding Clandestine Networks – JSOU publication on insurgent & terror networks

Challenge of Virtual Conflicts – JSOU publication on virtual aspects of insurgent networks

Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of GlobalizationNational Defense University text book

 

Here are a few Twitter accounts that qualify for automated RTs by me

@Interpreter_Mag

@peterpomeranzev

@johnrobb

@CassSunstein

@Peerlyst (infosec stuff, I’m writing here now)

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces Of Anonymous

Hacker Hoaxer Whistleblower Spy

Hacker Hoaxer Whistleblower Spy

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces Of Anonymous

 

I just completed a final dash through Gabriella Coleman’s marvelous book on Anonymous during the raucous years, roughly from Operation Payback in support of Wikileaks in 2010, through the downfall of LulzSec and related events in 2012.

Chaper 7, Revenge of the Lulz, covers the HBGary intrusion, the episode with which I am most familiar. I downloaded the torrent, like every other spectator, but then wrote a white paper that was circulated on Capitol Hill, leading to eighteen House offices calling for hearings.

Part of what stirred me was this bit of good news – Barrett Brown will be released in about ninety days. I tolerated a couple of years of snitch jacketing, primarily from white trashionalist Robert Stacy McCain. I get the feeling that a bunch of outstanding business is going to get resolved in the first few months after the election.

Winning The Information War by @edwardlucas & @peterpomeransez

These are some screen shots from Winning The Information War, by @edwardlucas and @peterpomeranzev. This is a follow up to The Menace Of Unreality (pdf here: The Menace of Unreality).

These two reports really need to be read, revisited, properly digested. There is a lot at stake and our government is simply not prepared to face an opponent who does these things.

What Is Propaganda? Eight Tests.

What Is Propaganda? Eight Tests.

Non-Kinetic Conflict Methods

Non-Kinetic Conflict Methods

Combining Kinetic & Non-Kinetic Methods

Combining Kinetic & Non-Kinetic Methods

Important Terms: Russian Action In Ukraine

Important Terms: Russian Action In Ukraine

Robert F. Kennedy Understood Election Cybersecurity Threats

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. On Election Cybersecurity

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. On Election Cybersecurity

Go ahead, read the whole document. Robert F. Kennedy Election CyberSecurity

American Autumn

American Autumn

American Autumn

The American Autumn is John Robb’s recent post on Donald Trump’s open source insurgency. The whole thing is excellent as Robb always is, but this paragraph in particular caught my eye:

 

The Trumpificationof the Establishment >>  Trump isn’t running a campaign, he’s running anopen source insurgency (see my earlier article on this) that makes him nearly immune to personal attack, and it is working.  He has secured a whopping 7 points (47 to 40) lead over Clinton in a recent national poll by the LA Times/USC — despite the fact that nearly EVERYONE in the media, academic, government, and political establishment is working against him.  This loss of control has infuriated the establishment, leading to increasing levels of paranoia, hyperbole, and anger (particularly in the media).  In short, the establishment is starting to act increasingly like Trump does — exaggerating and amplifying everything.

Robb closes by noting the line of talk that has become bipartisan:

 

Trump’s rhetorical suggestion that Russian hackers should find Hillary’s deleted e-mails.  This has led many people in the establishment to contend that Trump committed ‘treason and is now a clear and present danger to the security of the US.’

Stephen Bannon Taking Over @realDonaldTrump Campaign

 

Stephen Bannon

Stephen Bannon

Bannon looks as bad in this photo as Breitbart did in February of 2009. Let’s review …

 

  • Andrew Breitbart – dead 2/29/2012, heart attack
  • Mandy Nagy – disabled 9/3/2014, massive stroke
  • Mike Flynn – dead 6/24/2016, heart attack

 

And honorable mention goes to Erick Erickson, who narrowly escaped death due to a blood clot in mid-April of 2016. Hate is corrosive, even if you’re in a position where you feel you’re besting the other party.

Not gonna touch this with that proverbial ten foot pole, just nothing this for future reference …

Harvard’s Globe Of Economic Complexity

Harvard's Globe of Economic Complexity

Harvard’s Globe of Economic Complexity

Harvard’s Globe Of Economic Complexity is a simple, yet amazingly rich tool for visualizing global economic activity.

I believe that this is an example of a macroscope, a big data driven tool that does the inverse of what a microscope does, letting us see large swaths of our world from a vantage point that makes sense. The original data is found in The Atlas of Economic Complexity, another fine information source.

I just love things like this, they permit putting the news of the day in context without Googling for and wading through tabular data that is typically dated, scattered, and incomplete.

Neo-Conservative Ninny @BillKristol

 

The Obama years … followed the Bush years. During those preceding years, we blundered into Iraq and labeled Syria part of an “Axis of Evil”, in a misguided, neo-conservative inspired effort to “clean up old Soviet client states” in the Mideast.

Now the U.S. is falling into isolationism, as we periodically do, while Russia is resurgent, and this buffoon, who has the blood of 4,500+ U.S. soldiers on his hands, editorializes about a mess that HE played a huge role in creating.